AP3A91-Captive Animal Management

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Follows Part 2 exams, registration takes place early in Spring Term, Part 2. Please note this module has restricted places and preference will be given to BSc Animal Science students.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Rebecca Meagher

Email: r.k.meagher@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

You’ll learn about the principles of running and maintaining captive/zoo animal collections, the biology and management requirements of certain species including factors involved in enclosure design, and you’ll develop your ability to critically discuss the larger roles that zoos play in conservation. You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, field work and project work.


(1) To provide some insight into the general running and maintenance of an exotic animal collection (2) To outline the biology and requirements of specific types of zoo animals and hence some of the factors involved in designing the enclosures for housing and showing them. (3) To provide an understanding of the larger roles that zoos play in conservation of fragile ecosystems and endangered species

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

• Describe and discuss the role zoos play in conservation

• Describe and critically evaluate the importance of understanding animal behaviour in captive animal management

• Critically assess enclosure design/management/suitability for any given species and discuss how or whether enclosures could be improved.

Additional outcomes:

Due to the nature of the module, students will gain experience of working in the field of zoos (collection management), and learn about captive breeding, and animal health issues. They will also develop transferrable skills including team work, written and verbal communication, time management, organization, contextual thinking, and numeracy.

Outline content:

The module is designed to provide the students with various experiences related to running an exotic animal collection within the UK. The course will be run at the Durrell Conservation Academy, part of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust which is based at Jersey Zoo.

The Lecture Contents cover:

• Animal Management

o How do we design an enclosure to meet the needs of the species, the keepers and the public?

o Zoo evo lution – How has the welfare of animals and their conservation importance changed over time?

o How do we manage the reintroduction of animals back into the wild?

• Reproduction Genetics and Breeding

o What is small population biology and what makes small populations special?

• Animal Health and Disease

o What is the role of a veterinary biologist in managing endangered species health?

o What techniques can we use to monitor parasites and pathogens in populations?

• Animal nutrition

o How do we plan a diet for an unknown species?

• Animal Behaviour

o Should we manage animals to maintain behaviours in captivity?

o How do we conduct a study to determine if animal welfare needs are being met?

The Practical Contents cover:

• A group-based animal behavioural study that assesses enclosure usage o f a specific species.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be a total of 4.5 days spent at Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey where time will be spent in lectures, question and answer sessions and behind the scenes tours (mammals, herpetology and veterinary centre).

Time will also be available for completion of the practical element (behaviour study) and reporting of initial findings.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Fieldwork 14
Guided independent study: 70
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A group presentation (50%).

A scientific report on the small scale study conducted at Durrell (50%) submitted early in the Autumn Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback is given throughout the course via discussions with the students as they plan and conduct projects and analyse their data. There will be an opportunity for peer feedback on the presentations.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

By submission of written assignment during the August/September re-examination period. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books:

2) Specialist equipment or materials:

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: Sturdy footwear e.g. walking boots, waterproof/outdoor clothing suitable for field work.

4) Printing and binding:

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Approx. cost of residential field course in Jersey, £600.

Last updated: 27 July 2020


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